Headteacher: ‘We hope to meet the pope’

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

A Halifax headteacher is hoping his pupils will be able to meet the new pope on their trip to Vatican City next month.

As reported in the Courier in February, Parkinson Lane School pupils’ homes were dashed when Pope Benedict XVI suddenly retired, after they had managed to secure an audience with him this Easter. But this week, a new Pope was elected - the Cardinal of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio - who will beceome Pope Francis.

Headteacher Gugsy Ahmed said the group of 90 pupils and staff are still off to Italy in April and he will write to the Papal Office to see if they can reinstate a meeting with his Holiness. He said: “The Papal Office has organised for us to go around the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Radio Station, so maybe the pope will be able to meet us too. We hope to see him.”

The election of Pope Francis, 76, was signalled by white smoke from Sistine Chapel.